United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
proceeds pro se in this prisoner civil rights action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Following a successful settlement
conference, a stipulation for voluntary dismissal with
prejudice was filed on June 10, 2019. ECF No. 90. The action
was accordingly closed. ECF No. 91. Plaintiff subsequently
moved to vacate the stipulated dismissal. ECF No. 92. The
motion was denied without prejudice by the settlement judge.
ECF No. 94. Plaintiff then filed objections to the
settlement, directed to the district judge, which were
referred to the undersigned. ECF Nos. 97, 98.
record establishes the following facts. A settlement
conference was conducted in this case in 2017, by U.S.
Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman, and the case did not
settle. ECF No. 77. On June 7, 2019, Judge Newman held a
settlement conference in another of plaintiff's cases,
Giraldes v. Bobbala, No. 2:17-cv-2602 MCE EFB.
Plaintiff was represented by pro bono counsel at this
settlement conference. A resolution was reached that included
both the Bobbala matter and the instant case, along
with Giraldes v. CDCR, et al., No. 2:16-cv-2139 KJM
DB. The terms of the settlement were stated on the record.
ECF Nos. 89 (minute order), 96 (transcript).
Newman memorialized the material terms of the agreement as
In settlement in this case, real underlying issues have been
Mr. Giraldes' . . . concerns about his pain management
treatment as well as his dietary plans and nutrition. So what
the parties have agreed is, essentially, to do a fresh start
and so as part of this settlement the plaintiff agrees to
dismiss all cases, litigation, and appeals he has pending
with the exception of the Baughman matter, which is
Case No. 18-10055, but he's dismissing this case, which
is 17-cv-2602. He's also dismissing 16-cv-2139 and
16-cv-0497. Initially, he had a previous litigation that had
been settled called Hicimbothom, 09-cv-154, that
resulted in a settlement and some non-monetary relief as part
of that, which was entered into on August 12th of
2010, and plaintiff agrees that that will have no force and
effect and will not be cited or referenced in any future
claims or litigation.
. . . Mr. Giraldes agrees to dismiss all medical
practitioners before then entering into the actual or as part
of then entering into a separate signed settlement, which
will be with Defendant Tuers, T-U-E-R-S, and then of course,
CDCR is the one who's ultimately agreeing to the
fundamental terms here.
Defendants agree to pay to plaintiff and his counsel the
total sum of $3, 000 in complete resolution of all claims
that Mr. Giraldes brought or could have brought in any of
these cases and defendants agree that within 90 days from
receipt of a signed document they will have Mr. Giraldes
examined by a medical doctor not from CSP-SAC, as well as
they will have Mr. Giraldes evaluated by a dietician,
examined and evaluated by a dietician. . . not from CSP-SAC.
All, each of those people will use their training and
experience and the best practices to determine medically the
best treatment, including pain management for Mr. Giraldes,
as well as the best practices for his dietary concerns/issues
going forward, and CDCR agrees to go along with whatever they
recommend and determine is medically appropriate. And. . .
Mr. Giraldes agrees to be bound by whatever they determine to
the best practices and appropriate. He agrees not to contest
whatever their recommendations are or if those
recommendations change in the future based on, again,
professionals determining what the best practices and what is
reasonably needed changes over time.
96 at 4-6.
Newman then provided hypotheticals to illustrate the
agreed-upon terms regarding mutual acceptance of the new
medical and nutritional assessments:
For example, pain medication. A doctor could recommend no
medication, could recommend Tylenol, could recommend
Tramadol, but it's up to the doctor to determine what he
or she recommends and Mr. Giraldes agrees he's not going
to contest that just 'cause he has a different
conclusion. And even if, for example, the doctor prescribes
Tramadol but in six months says, he or she or another doctor
determines that Mr. Giraldes no longer needs it medically,
then Mr. Giraldes doesn't have a basis to bring a, a new
lawsuit or claim as a result of that.
Similarly, the dietician will be making their best
professional determinations as to whether or not he needs
smaller meals, more calories, etc., and CDCR agrees to go
along with that determination as well as Mr. Giraldes agrees
to go along with it and not file claims or litigation if he
disagrees or if those change in the future 'cause someone
determines, again, it, it's no longer the appropriate
course of treatment and Mr. Giraldes agrees that he will be
seeking to comply with all instructions. So he realizes they
may very well order different restrictions or take him off
something if, for example, he refuses to be weighed in or
he's not eating his meals. That may, very often, can
impact what a doctor or a dietician thinks is medically
necessary and appropriate.
Id. at 6-7.
Newman concluded by noting that the settlement would involve
no admission of liability by defendants, that the parties
would bear their own fees and costs, that any proceeds would
first be applied against any outstanding restitution owed by
the plaintiff, and that plaintiff would be required to sign
“the dismissal with prejudice of the medical
professionals, a signed settlement ...